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The Gouverneur Museum is open from 1:00 - 3:00PM on Wednesdays.

The Museum is only open on Saturdays by appointment.
Call Joe Laurenza at 315-323-2654 for a Saturday appointment.

Masks and social distancing is encouraged. — Admission is always free.


Visit the Gouverneur Museum virtually… using our mobile app. The app was built for mobile devices, but can still be experienced with a computer.

Visit the Gouverneur Museum from Home  —

The Museum in "The Manse"


The Gouverneur Museum has artifacts on three floors, an exhibit building outside, an Annex at the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fairgrounds, and an authentic one room schoolhouse.

The museum's collection was built from local donations and every object speaks to us from the past and links us to the real people who once owned it. Thanks to the generosity of area residents, the Museum houses thousands of items, many are quite unique.

The Museum's main building was built in 1904 and was once a three-story Victorian home, the Presbyterian Manse. ​"The Manse" was purchased by the Historical Association in 1974 and opened as a museum on July 4, 1976. In 2015, the First Presbyterian Church building next door and the Manse were placed on the National Historical Registry. Read more about the history of Gouverneur's First Presbyterian Church.

How did Gouverneur get its name...? From the "Wildest Founding Father of them All!"

Gouverneur Morris was a Founding Father of the United States, and a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution. He wrote the Preamble to the United States Constitution and has been called the "Penman of the Constitution." In an era when most Americans thought of themselves as citizens of their respective states, Morris advanced the idea of being a citizen of a single union of states. He was also one of the most outspoken opponents of slavery among all of those who were present at the Constitutional Convention. He represented New York in the United States Senate from 1800 to 1803. (From  Wikipedia)

Some sources for The Ghost Who Wrote the Constitution:


1) A book on Morris by President Theodore Roosevelt:


2) A book on Morris by conservative historian Richard Brookhiser:


3) 2 books by Melanie Miller, a modern scholar on Morris:


4) A fascinating thesis that details how Morris changed the constitution in ways the convention would not initially have agreed to:


5) There are public diaries by Morris himself. Which you can find through Melanie Miller above. 


6) And of course, Madison himself said publicly that Morris did the final draft and that "the finish given to the style and arrangement of the Constitution fairly belongs to the pen of Mr. Morris."


It's not a secret or a theory. It's "hidden in plain sight."


Gouverneur was considered the
"Wildest Founding Father of them All."


Learn more about him... 

American Origin Stories - The Podcast Episode One

The Ghost Who Wrote the U.S. Constitution, Premiered Feb 13, 2023


To the vast majority of America, the identity of the 35-year-old man who wrote the U.S. Constitution is a secret, hidden in plain sight. Knowing the essence of "The Ghost" changes how we understand the nation and its character, both past and present. 


Written and Narrated by Matthew Cooke. 

© Copyright, 2023, 1 Cooke in the Kitchen, Inc.

The Ghost

The Fry Family: Black Pioneers of Gouverneur
  • The Fry family lived in Gouverneur for over 60 years. Who was Flora Fry? 

  • Why was she given a Gerritt Smith land grant when women in New York State would not be able to vote until 1918? 

  • What became of her four children raised in Gouverneur? 

  • Learn about an unrecognized black civil war veteran from Gouverneur. 

Bryan Thompson, DeKalb, NY Historian presented a talk about the Fry family on September 23, 2021 at the Gouverneur Community Center. Watch the Video

In 2024, the Gouverneur Chamber's Flag Day ceremony honored a lost Civil War veteran from Gouverneur. A plaque honoring Corporal Danby Fry was dedicated. This plaque, fixed to the Memorial Arch, gives overdue recognition to a Gouverneur soldier who served three years in the 20th US Colored Infantry during the Civil War.

This recognition came about because of the efforts of Bryan Thompson, the Historian for the Town of DeKalb, NY. Until Bryan’s research brought Danby Fry’s identity to light, this Civil War veteran had been unknown to the Gouverneur Historical Association. The Historical Association is grateful to Bryan for his research and passion.

The 20th U.S. Colored Infantry was organized at Rikers Island, New York February 9, 1864 for three-year service and mustered under the command of Colonel Nelson B. Bartram. The regiment was attached to Department of the East to March 1864. Defenses of New Orleans, Louisiana, Department of the Gulf, to December 1864.


"The Village Park" by local artist Nonnie Caswell

Gouverneur Benefactors

Many individuals have contributed to the Gouverneur community. These sixteen profiles give you a glimpse  into the lives and backgrounds of some of our historical benefactors. 

Read their stories.

Gouverneur History Online

The books are also available for purchase in the Museum Shop. However, no copies of the Sesqui-Centennial History are available, but you can read the full text here at the Museum's website.


A History 1805-1890
by Jane A.W. Parker

Sesqui-Centennial History
1805 - 1955

Bicentennial History

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